Wooden plaque saying PilatesThe Pilates method is recently being used more and more in the rehabilitation setting particularly for low back pain. Traditional exercises can be broken down and made suitable for those who are recovering from injuries, and then can be progressed until full fitness and healthy movement is achieved. There is increasing evidence that rehabilitation using pilates can increase the stability and control of body movement– thus preventing a range of postural, musculo-skeletal and neurological conditions.

This is particularly relevant for sufferers of lower back pain, which is a significant public health problem. A high percentage of people will suffer lower back pain at some time in their lives and research shows that 60-80% will reoccur within 3-12 months. Chronic lower back pain can be very disruptive to a person’s life, and can prevent the sufferer from exercising as they normally would, or at all! Low back pain should always be assessed by a qualified professional such as an Osteopath, and in some cases medical treatment is needed. In the majority of cases however, it is safe to begin Osteopathic treatment and start exercising under supervision, using the pilates method.

Remember that experiencing pain changes our body’s normal movement patterns, and the recovery of normal movement is not automatic. Those of us who have had trauma, injuries, painful episodes, surgery or postural problems are likely to develop weakness and inflexibility as well as dysfunctional movement. These ‘bad patterns’ can accumulate, as the body attempts to compensate for multiple problems.

The aim in Pilates for low back pain is to recondition the body from a central core, to give a natural girdle of support to the lower back. Once this has been achieved muscles can be strengthened more globally, before the core and the global muscles are worked together.

As a beginner the very best starting point is to learn to apply five key elements in a range of positions and exercises. These will be discussed individually over the next 5 weeks. So keep checking this blog or view and like us on Facebook !